Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz has a friendly suggestion for federal regulators: Update your financial disclosure rules for the Internet age, already.
In a blog entry on Monday, Schwartz ponders why public companies like his must issue paper-based press releases or stage "anachronistic" telephonic conference calls every time they want to reveal information considered material to their financial performance. (He made a similar plea last year.)
"I would argue that none of those routes are as accessible to the general public as a this blog, or Sun's web site," Schwartz wrote.
But that's the way the system currently functions under rules known as Reg. FD, or Regulation Fair Disclosure, the CEO said.
So he penned a formal letter last week to Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox, who himself has openly suggested the need to "harness" the Internet's power to aid American investors.
In that note, Schwartz asked the chairman to clarify that Web postings alone would satisfy the financial rules. He argued that such a change would actually allow companies to be more transparent with their affairs--and to reach a broader swath of interested investors than they would through "proprietary news outlets" that require subscriptions.
No word yet on what the SEC makes of the suggestion--a spokesman told CNET News.com that the agency doesn't comment on such correspondence.